See full editorial here.
We support the death penalty and its application in a narrow range of cases. Young's case appears to be outside that range. Having entered a restaurant 12 years ago with the intent to rob it, Young got into a gunfight with Joseph Sutton, who had grabbed a weapon from a man who joined Young in attempting the robbery. Sutton died in an exchange of bullets. Young, scheduled to be executed July 22, could have avoided death row with a plea agreement. He chose to take his chances. His last chance rests with the governor.
Applying the death penalty too freely or too swiftly is an invitation for society to support elimination of capital punishment, which would be a tragic mistake. Young is guilty of armed robbery. He deserves to live out his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
But if he didn't enter the restaurant with the intent of killing Sutton, he isn't guilty of premeditated murder. What's lacking is malice aforethought.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Oklahoman features an editorial today supporting clemency for Kevin Young. Among other things, it notes: